Andrew Pelechaty reviews the riveting Golden Point clash between Parramatta and Canberra. Here’s how the game went.
|4th||Try Ryan Matterson (Parramatta)||Parramatta 4-0|
|5th||Goal Mitchell Moses (Parramatta)||Parramatta 6-0|
|18th||Try Josh Papalii (Canberra)||Parramatta 6-4|
|19th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Scores tied 6-6|
|29th||Try Elliott Whitehead (Canberra)||Canberra 10-6|
|30th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Canberra 12-6|
|40th||Penalty Goal Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta)||Canberra 12-8|
|52nd||Try Ray Stone (Parramatta)||Scores tied 12-12|
|53rd||Goal Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta)||Parramatta 14-12|
|62nd||Try Michael Jennings (Parramatta)||Parramatta 18-12|
|64th||Goal Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta)||Parramatta 20-12|
|67th||Try Maika Sivo (Parramatta)||Parramatta 24-12|
|75th||Try Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra)||Parramatta 24-16|
|76th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Parramatta 24-18|
|76th||Try Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (Canberra)||Parramatta 24-22|
|78th||Goal Jarrod Croker (Canberra)||Scores tied 24-24|
|87th||Field Goal Clinton Gutherson (Parramatta)||Parramatta 25-24|
Coming off their wonderful performance against the Sydney Roosters, Parramatta started quickly against a sluggish Raiders.
Ryan Matterson scored the Eels’ first try in the fourth minute, and it looked like a long night ahead for Canberra. Parramatta nearly had a second soon after with Marata Niukore scoring, but it was denied by the Bunker after Mitchell Moses had knocked on in the lead up.
Deep on their tryline, Canberra successfully used a Captain’s Challenge to overturn a George Williams offside penalty.
The Eels had another try disallowed soon after, with Dylan Brown knocking on.
Corey Horsburgh had a rough night, smashed in a three-man tackle. Visibly upset, he went off late in the first half with a foot injury and didn’t return. Mitchell Moses was another casualty with a calf tear, and took no further part in the game. The debate over the Bankwest Stadium surface will continue – despite being given the all clear – with Sydney Roosters players Victor Radley and Sam Verrills suffering ACL injuries on Friday night.
Canberra scored in the 18th minute, with Josh Papalii going through a huge gap.
The Raiders’ second try – to Elliott Whitehead – was a lot luckier, with a forward pass from Jarrod Croker missed by the touch judge. With the Bunker unable to rule on forward passes, Whitehead’s try stood and it was the Raiders up 12-6.
Parramatta had a chance to come back soon after, but Maika Sivo’s try was denied through a knock on in the lead up.
The Raiders pressured the Eels’ line late in the half, but couldn’t capitalise, with Siliva Havili knocking on close to the line.
A penalty goal right on halftime to Clinton Gutherson trimmed the Raiders’ lead to 12-8.
Ray Stone scored his first NRL try (in the 52nd minute) to put Parramatta back in front. The Raiders defenders forgot about Ray (as opposed to forgetting about Dre).
A crucial call went Parramatta’s way with 20 minutes left, with Croker deemed to have played at the ball despite turning his back on a Brad Takairangi kick. Parramatta got the scrum win, which led to a Michael Jennings try off a beautiful Shaun Lane pass.
Parramatta extended their lead with a try to Maika Sivo (from a beautiful Gutherson cut out pass) off a six again call. It was Sivo’s 26th try in only 32 games.
With five minutes left, Canberra scored a vital try with a beautiful chip kick from George Williams for Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, cutting the deficit to six.
CNK made it a double a minute later (off a Whitehead pass after a beautiful dummy), with Croker’s conversion levelling the scores.
There was no change to the score in the first Golden Point period.
A knock on against Canberra early in the second period was crucial, with Gutherson kicking the game-winning field goal.
It was a great win for Parramatta, who go back to the top of the ladder. While the Raiders were much better than against Manly, it was still a heartbreaking loss, especially with Melbourne (round nine) and the Sydney Roosters (round 10) approaching.
Trailing 24-12 with five minutes left, Canberra looked beaten, but the Raiders’ New Zealand and UK connection clicked into gear. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad produced two magic moments to level the scores and take the game to Golden Point. His first try came from a beautiful George Williams chip kick. A minute later, CNK took an Elliott Whitehead pass and ran 40 metres to score. It was great backs-to-the-wall footy, especially with the Raiders’ attack criticised after their loss to Manly.
Parramatta Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 15. Marata Niukore. Interchange: 14. Ray Stone 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Brad Takairangi 19. Daniel Alvaro.
Canberra Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Jordan Rapana 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Curtis Scott 5. Nick Cotric 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Iosia Soliola 17. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Corey Horsburgh. Interchange: 14. Siliva Havili 15. Emre Guler 16. Ryan Sutton 18. Bailey Simonsson.